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Philosophy professor highlights the connection between women, environment

Student organizers Anna Beyer and Sam Reynoso present professor Kara Barnett with gifts following her Taboo Talk in Malouf 201 Oct. 7. Barnett used examples from philosophers to demonstrate hierarchies in society that negatively affect women and the environment. (Photo by Michael Dougherty)

Associate Professor of Philosophy Dr. Kara Barnett spoke on ecofeminism and the importance of recognizing connections between environment and gender at a Taboo Talk Wednesday.

Ecofeminism is a philosophical and political movement that combines environmental concerns with feminist ones, regarding both as resulting from male domination of society, according to Barnett.

“Throughout the history of philosophy and literature, women have been associated with the environment, while men are associated with human culture,” Barnett said.

Students were invited to participate and ask questions throughout the presentation.

“I think that talks like these are very important because you realize unknown connections that each of us have in society,” said Anna Beyer, a member of the ASW planning committee. “We learn how women have this connection to the environment and that it goes hand in hand with our gender.”

Barnett presented theories from philosophers such as Rene Descartes and Karen Warren to explain how society has dichotomies and that whenever you have a dichotomy, you have a hierarchy. These theories supported Barnett’s claim that ecology was a feminist issue.

“She did a really good job explaining how women are the first ones affected by environmental decay and how women have always been at the forefront of environmental change and activism,” said Sam Reynoso, a senior communication major and member of ASW.

*Sam Reynoso was a past staff member for The Forum.


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Michael is a junior communication major and the type of guy you would want to bring home to meet your family. Michael’s studies revolve around media and public relations. Outside the classroom, you can find him skiing around Brighton Resort or hiking in Big Cottonwood Canyon. Michael is excited to further his studies in journalism through The Forum.

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